June 4, 2000
CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson is making its ninth trip to the College World Series in its history, and its first since 1996. Clemson also made it to Omaha in 1995 and 1991. In 1996, Clemson went 2-2, including dramatic wins over Oklahoma State and Alabama. The 1996 team featured the likes of National Player-of-the-Year Kris Benson and All-American Billy Koch.
This year’s team is quite a contrast from the 1996 team. There are no All-Americans and no players whose numbers jump out at. There are even no 2000 first-team all-conference players on this year’s squad. But there was a tenacious desire of 25 players and four coaches, in particular Jack Leggett, to make it back to Omaha.
Clemson is 6-16 all-time in the College World Series. The Tigers made it to Omaha in Bill Wilhelm’s first two seasons at Clemson, 1958 and 1959. He also guided Clemson to Omaha in 1976, 1977, 1980, and 1991. Wilhelm was 4-12 in the College World Series. Jack Leggett has taken Clemson to two previous College World Series, 1995 and 1996. He owns a 2-4 record in Omaha.
Tigers to Face San Jose State in First Game
Clemson (50-16) will play San Jose State (41-22) either Friday or Saturday in the opening round of the College World Series in Omaha, NE. The exact time and date of the first game will be announced Monday at 4:00 PM EDT. Clemson is making its ninth trip to the College World Series, while the Spartans will be making their first trip to Omaha. Clemson and San Jose State have never met on the baseball diamond. The winner of the game will face the Stanford vs. Louisiana-Lafayette winner, while the two losers of those games will play. The eight team tournament, which is in effect two four-team regionals with the winners from each meeting for the national championship, begins Friday, June 9. The national championship game will be played Saturday, June 17.
Clemson and San Jose State have had just one common opponent in 2000, that being Rice. Clemson opened its season with Rice in the ACC Disney Blast in Lake Buena Vista, FL. The Tigers downed the #7 Owls 3-1 in that contest. The Spartans went 1-5 against Rice in a home-and-home series.
San Jose State went 3-1 as the third-seed in the Waco (TX) Regional, as it advanced to the Houston (TX) Super Regional. The Spartans won game one by a 5-3 score and fell to Houston on June 3 by a 5-2 score in 14 innings. But the Spartans edged Houston 3-2 on June 4. The Spartans were one of the last at-large teams to make it into the field of 64. They were co-champions of the Western Athletic Conference with Rice. The Spartans, who were picked to finish fifth in the WAC in the preseason, are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1971. They have played 34 of their 63 games away from home, and have a 20-14 record away from home in 2000.
Sophomore Junior Ruiz was the WAC Player-of-the-Year in 2000. He was the only Spartan on the 2000 WAC All-Conference first team, therefore the meeting between Clemson and San Jose State will feature just one first-team all-conference player, since Clemson did not have a first-teamer. Head Coach Sam Piraro, in his 14th season at San Jose State, was named WAC Coach-of-the-Year as well.
Clemson has two players and a coach from the west coast. Nick Glaser and Ryan Riley were teammates at Edmonds Community College in Washington for two seasons. Their coach at Edmonds, Hank King, is in his first season as a Tiger Assistant Coach. Both Riley and Glaser are natives of Washington. Recruiting coordinator Tim Corbin has made several recruiting trips to the west coast, an area of emphasis, in recent years.
A Closer Look at the Eight College World Series Teams
Of the eight teams in the 2000 College World Series, two are making their first ever trip (San Jose State, Louisiana-Lafayette), while the other six teams have been to Omaha at least nine times. Texas leads in that category, as they will be making trip #28. There are six conferences represented. Two conferences, the ACC and Pac 10, each have two teams in the College World Series. Clemson and Florida State are the only two teams in Omaha with at least 50 wins. Six of the eight teams have ERA’s under 4.00.
Only four of the eight national seeds have advanced, including #2 Louisiana State, #4 Clemson, #6 Florida State, and #8 Stanford. All four of those teams hosted both Sub and Super Regionals. San Jose State was a #3 seed in the Waco (TX) Regional and defeated Houston in the Super Regional. Louisiana-Lafayette hosted a Sub Regional as a #2 seed and advanced to play South Carolina in the Super Regional in Columbia, where it won the last two games of the series to advance. Texas downed Arizona State in the Tempe (AZ) Regional, then defeated Penn State twice in two games at Austin to advance. Southern California, who hosted a Sub Regional, defeated #2-national seed Georgia Tech in two games to advance.
Note: National seeds listed as superscripts
Clemson vs. CWS Opponents
Clemson has played just four of the seven College World Series teams in history. Clemson has never faced San Jose State, Louisiana State, nor Texas. Clemson is 1-1 in two meetings against Louisiana-Lafayette (formerly known as Southwestern Louisiana) and 0-1 against Stanford. That meeting came in the 1995 College World Series, as the Cardinal ended Clemson’s season by an 8-3 score. Clemson has faced Southern California twice, with the Trojans holding a 2-0 lead. The latter of the two meetings came at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in the 1998 NCAA East Regional, where Southern California ended Clemson’s season with a 8-5 win. Clemson has faced Florida State 83 times in history, including four times this season. Clemson trails in the series 42-40-1, but has defeated the Seminoles five times in a row, including four this season. And since Florida State joined the ACC in 1992, Clemson holds a 24-17 advantage.
You don’t have to look far to see how important Omaha is to Clemson and Head Coach Jack Leggett. But you might have to look closely. On the back of Clemson’s caps is the word “OMAHA” on the Tiger Paw in small letters. In recent years, Leggett has created a slogan to put on the back of the hats. One season it was “TEAM”. But Leggett had a great feeling about the 2000 team, so he put “OMAHA” on this year’s caps. He did that knowing full well that the last time “OMAHA” was on the caps was in 1996, Clemson’s last College World Series appearance.
Individual Perfomers in the NCAA Tournament in Their Careers
Patrick Boyd leads Clemson in NCAA Tournament play with a .451 batting average and 15 RBIs in 16 career games. Khalil Greene is hitting .380 with nine doubles and 13 RBIs in 13 games. Justin Singleton is hitting .348 with five doubles, 16 runs scored, and 16 RBIs in 16 games. Henri Stanley is hitting .389 with seven stolen bases and a .522 on-base percentage as well.
Tiger Bats Alive And Well in Postseason
Clemson’s 8-2 record in postseason play can be attributed to the hot Tiger bats, as Clemson is hitting .350 in its 10 postseason games. The Tigers are averaging 9.5 runs per game and 12.7 hits per contest. The team also has a .437 on-base percentage and is 20-26 on stolen bases. The Tigers have committed just 11 errors in nine games for a .972 fielding percentage.
Clemson hit .343 at the plate in the five games of the 2000 ACC Tournament from May 17-20 along with hitting 12 doubles, three triples, and seven home runs. Clemson also slugged at a .558 clip and had a ..426 on-base percentage.
In the Clemson Regional from May 26-28, the Tigers hit .345 with eight doubles, a triple, and two homers in the three games. Clemson scored 34 runs in the three games as well, including 21 in the regional championship game against Middle Tennessee on May 28. Clemson also stole nine bases in nine attempts.
In two games against #10 Mississippi State, Clemson hit .377 with a ..471 on-base percentage. The Tigers also stole five bases in the two games
In the 10 postseason games, Henri Stanley leads the team with a .647 batting average and a .727 on-base percentage. Justin Singleton is hitting .379, while Patrick Boyd is hitting .409 with 13 RBIs and a ..490 on-base percentage. Casey Stone is hitting .375 with 10 RBIs. Jeff Baker also has four homers and 13 RBis in the postseason. Khalil Greene is hitting at a .356 clip in the postseason as well.
Clemson’s NCAA Tournament History
Clemson (50-16) enters the College World Series with more wins than it’s totaled since 1996, when Clemson finished 51-17. The 1996 season was the last trip to Omaha for the Tigers. The Tigers have now participated in 26 NCAA Tournaments overall and 14 in a row. Clemson has also won at least one game in all 14 of the regionals. Only Miami (FL), Florida State, and Oklahoma State have longer current streaks. Clemson’s 26 appearances also ranks seventh in the nation, while the 14-year run ranks tied for sixth all-time in NCAA history. Clemson has a 69-53 (.566) all-time record in the tournament, including a 40-27 (.597) record during the 14-year run. Jack Leggett has a 24-13 (.649) record in NCAA Tourney play as the Tiger Head Coach as well. Leggett was 4-10 in the tourney at Western Carolina in five years (1985-89), therefore is 27-23 (.540) in his career in 11 NCAA Tournaments.
Last season, Clemson lost in the opening round of the Fayetteville (AR) Regional to Southwest Missouri State by a 23-5 score. But in the next two days, Clemson won four games, including two over Southwest Missouri State to advance to the Super Regional at College Station (TX), hosted by Texas A&M. After getting blitzed in the first game 20-3, Clemson won game two 10-3 and led in game three 4-3 entering the top of the ninth inning, but two solo homers off Tiger star closer Chris Heck ended the Tiger season.
College World Series Tickets Available Through Ticketmaster
Individual session tickets are on sale through TicketMaster. Tournament passes are sold out. Residents in the Greenville area can call (864) 233-2525. Fans can also go online to order tickets at www.ticketmaster.com.
Tigers Reach 50-Win Plateau for Ninth Time
With its 9-4 win against #10 Mississippi State on June 3, Clemson reached the 50-mark for the ninth time in school history and first time since 1996, when Clemson was 51-17. Clemson has won 50 or more games under Head Coach Jack Leggett four times in his seven seasons. Clemson won 57 games in 1994 and 54 games in 1995 in Leggett’s first two seasons at Clemson.
Tigers Omaha Bound Thanks to 9-4 Win Over Mississippi State
Henri Stanley came off the bench to tally three hits and three RBIs, and Brian Ellis added three hits as Clemson downed #10 Mississippi State 9-4 in front of a Clemson record crowd of 6,392 in the Super Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Stanley and Ellis, who batted in the last two spots in the batting order, had six of the team’s 12 hits, and had five of the team’s seven RBIs. Steve Reba, who relieved Scott Berney in the second inning, got the win by pitching 4.2 effective innings, allowing five hits and one earned run. Nick Glaser pitched the final 3.0 innings, allowing two hits and no runs to pick up his 15th save of the season, setting a Tiger single-season record in the process. The Bulldogs left 11 runners on base.
Lynn Saves the Day as Tigers Down Bulldogs 11-4 in Game One
Kevin Lynn pitched 7.1 scoreless innings of relief to lead Clemson over #10 Mississippi State 11-4 in front of 6,308 fans on June 2 in the first game of the Clemson Super Regional. Lynn relieved Ryan Mottl and allowed just three hits, no runs, and no walks while striking out six. After Clemson took a 3-0 lead in the first, the Bulldogs stormed back with four runs in the second, two of which scored on a fielding error by Khalil Greene. Greene later redeemed himself with two outstanding defensive plays and two doubles. Trailing 4-3 in the fifth, Clemson scored six runs to salt the game away. Ryan Riley’s sacrifice fly tied the score 4-4, and Mike Calitri’s two-run double gave the Tigers a lead they would never relinquish. Calitri’s batted ball was a routine fly ball, but was lost in the late evening sky. Clemson went on to score three additional runs in the frame. Justin Singleton and Greene chipped in with three hits apiece to lead the Tigers’ 14-hit attack, while the Bulldogs managed just four hits in the game.
Tiger Streaks Rank Third Best in the Country
Clemson has won at least 40 games for 15 straight seasons. The Tigers reached that mark against #4 Florida State on May 8, a 7-4 Tiger win. Clemson is also participate in its 14th straight NCAA Tournament. Both marks rank in the top-three in the country currently. Clemson is tied for third in the nation in consecutive tournament appearances, trailing only Miami (FL) (28) and Florida State (23). Wichita State also a 14-year run in the tournament. As far as consecutive 40-win seasons, Clemson is third in the country with its 15-year streak. The Tigers trail only Florida State (23) and Wichita State (23) in that area.
Clemson 41-16 Against SEC Teams Under Leggett
In seven seasons under Head Coach Jack Leggett, Clemson has had tremendous success against the Southeastern Conference. Leggett’s record against the SEC as the Tigers’ skipper is 41-16 (.719), including 18 wins against top-25 teams. Leggett has at least a .500 record against all eight SEC schools he has faced while at Clemson. Below is a list of Leggett’s record at Clemson against each of the eight SEC member schools he has faced:
Defensive Performance on Record Pace
Clemson’s .969 fielding percentage is ahead of the team single-season record of .967 (set in 1976). The team has committed 81 errors in 66 games. Among some of the outstanding individual percentages include second baseman Ryan Riley’s .983 mark (four errors) and Khalil Greene’s .938 mark (13 errors).
Tigers Set School Record for Home Wins
Clemson was 37-5 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this season. Clemson broke the school record for home wins in a season when it defeated Middle Tennessee in the regional on May 28. The old record was 34 set in 1996. Clemson’s only losses have come to UNLV, #17 East Carolina, N.C. State, #2 South Carolina, and #11 Wake Forest. Clemson has a 718-155 (.822) all-time record in the facility’s 31st year. The facility was named Tiger Field up until the 2000 season.
Clemson’s longest homestand in years, 23-games long, was completed on Mar. 26 with a 6-3 win over The Citadel. Clemson was 21-2 in the 23 games. The Tigers finished another long homestand, 11-games long, on April 18 with a win over Elon. Clemson was 8-3 on that homestand. Clemson’s regular-season home schedule ended with a three-game sweep over Florida State from May 6-8. Clemson went 5-0 in hosting two regionals at home.
Individual Player Miscellaneous Batting Stats
Below is a look at Tiger batters’ batting averages in certain situations.
A big part of Clemson’s success in 2000 has been in part to clutch hitting and pitching. The Tigers as a team are hitting .387 with the bases loaded and .326 with runners in scoring position. On the other hand, Tiger pitchers have limited teams to a .225 batting average with the bases loaded and .252 average with runners in scoring position.
But perhaps Clemson’s most successful clutch situation has come with two outs. Clemson is hitting .303 with two outs, while Tiger pitchers have held opponents to a .207 average with two outs. Ryan Riley has a team-best .404 batting average with two outs, while several pitchers have sub-.200 opponent batting averages with two down, including Steve Reba (.098), Thomas Boozer (.130), Nick Glaser (.174), and Ryan Mottl (.188).
Several players have also had great success driving in runs with two outs. Thirty-three of Khalil Greene’s 62, 26 of Jeff Baker’s 62, 22 of Ryan Riley’s 38, and 13 of Justin Singleton’s 21 RBIs have come with two outs. Almost 43 percent of Clemson’s RBIs in 2000 have come with two outs, while opponents have just 32 percent of its RBIs coming with two down.
Bats Warming Up With the Weather
Clemson’s batting average, which has hovered around the .280 mark around midseason, has climbed well over .300 thanks to the team hitting .308 in April, .330 in May, and .377 in two June games. Khalil Greene and Casey Stone were especially hot in May. Greene hit .406 with a .486 on-base percentage in 15 May games, while Stone hit .460 in May. Clemson hit .262 to the end of February and .295 in March. Clemson, who set many offensive records a season ago, hit .306 in 1999.
Tiger Players and Team in Clemson Record Lists
Below is a look at Tiger players who have set or are in select company in Clemson statistical records. All season records are for the 2000 season only.
Why So Few Home Runs?
The most common question asked this season about Clemson when it comes to statistics is, “Why does Clemson have so few home runs?” The answer is simple…Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The spacious dimensions of the ballpark, including big gaps, made it very difficult to hit a “cheap” home run. But the biggest reason for so few long balls was due to a simple force of nature…wind. Doug Kingsmore Stadium sits just a few hundred yards from Lake Hartwell. And since the field faces towards the southwest, winds blew off the lake from the southwest, meaning the wind blew straight in. It did just that in almost every Clemson game this season, more than past years. As evidence, Clemson is averaging nearly 0.8 homers per game away from home, but just over 0.4 homers per game in the friendly confines of Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Despite playing 18 more games at home than away from home, the Tigers have hit two more homers on the road than at home. Tiger pitchers allowed just seven homers in 42 home games, compared to 19 in 24 games away from home. Tiger went its last nine home games without allowing a home run in 2000.
In the 2000 NCAA Tournament, Tiger pitchers have a 2.00 ERA, which is odd due to the fact that the five starting pitchers have averaged just 4.1 innings. Therefore the relievers have averaged 4.2 innings in the five games. In 23.1 innings, Tiger relief pitchers have allowed just two earned runs for a 0.77 ERA. The foursome of Kevin Lynn, Steve Reba, Nick Glaser, and Matt Additon have also allowed just 14 hits and three walks in those 23.1 innings.
Lynn Superb in the Postseason
Junior righthander Kevin Lynn (North Augusta, SC) has turned up his game a notch in the postseason. He has made four appearances in the postseason for a team-high 22.0 innings pitched. He has struck out 18 and allowed just one walk. He also has a 2.05 ERA and has allowed three doubles and no homers during that stretch. His best outing in the postseason came against #10 Mississippi State on June 2 in the Super Regional, where he came out of the bullpen to pitch 7.1 shutout innings and allowed just three hits while not allowing a walk. Overall, Lynn is 5-1 with a 3.42 ERA in 2000. He has pitched 47.1 innings and has 47 strikeouts against just 12 walks in 15 relief appearances and two starts. Over 46 percent of his innings this season have come in the postseason.
Mottl’s Return Paying Dividends for Clemson’s Prospects
After becoming Clemson’s first freshman to be First-Team All-ACC pitcher in 1997, and being one of 12 semifinalists for the Smith Award in 1998 as a sophomore, Mottl struggled in 1999 with a 4-8 record and 6.14 ERA in 1999. He was drafted in the 27th round by the Texas Rangers in the ’99 draft, a disappointing position for the righthander. So he returned for his senior season and has set many several Tiger records in the process. But more importantly, he has helped Clemson to the College World Series and has significantly improved his draft stock. He has been clocked in the low 90s after barely reaching 90 mph in 1999. He has had excellent command of all his pitches, including his “fosh”, which acts like a sinker and a changeup. He has 3.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2000. Against #4 Florida State in the ACC Tournament, he pitched a complete game six-hitter against the Seminoles. In his next start against Middle Tennessee in the Clemson Regional opener, he pitched a four-hit shutout. It was the first shutout by a Tiger pitcher since 1996 (Ken Vining) and the first of his career.
Mottl Climbing Several Tiger Records
Senior righthander Ryan Mottl passed Kris Benson with his 30th career victory when he beat Duke on April 23. He allowed three runs and six hits in 7.0 innings. He also pitched a complete game six-hitter against #4 Florida State in the ACC Tournament to earn All-ACC Tournament honors. His shutout against Middle Tennessee in the Clemson Regional on May 26 was the first by a Tiger since 1996 (Ken Vining). He allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out eight in that game. He is 9-3 on the mound in 2000. He won 10 games as a freshman, nine as a sophomore, and four as a junior.
Mottl also has 359 career strikeouts, placing him in third place in that category in the Clemson recordbook. Mottl also has a 3.44 ERA in 18 starts and one relief appearance in 2000. Entering 2000, he had given up 39 career home runs. But this season, he has only allowed two long balls.
Ryan Mottl in Clemson Career Record Lists
Schmidt Having Stellar Freshman Season on the Mound
Freshman Jarrod Schmidt came to Clemson with accolades such as First-Team All-American and Georgia Gatorade Player-of-the-Year out of Lassiter High School in Marietta, GA. And early on in 2000, he started at first base and outfield. But when the Tigers got into the rigorous college baseball schedule, Schmidt added another position to his repetoire…pitcher. Schmidt, who was “Mr. Do It All” at Lassiter, has done the same at Clemson. Unlike many schools, very few times in recent years has a Tiger pitcher played in the field and vice versa. But Schmidt is bucking that tradition as he has solidified himself as a weekend starter in Clemson’s rotation.
Schmidt has a perfect 9-0 record, including a complete game at #8 North Carolina on April 1, one of only three by a Tiger pitcher in 2000. Schmidt allowed no earned runs and seven hits at Chapel Hill. Overall, Schmidt has a 3.69 ERA. The Second-Team All-ACC starting pitcher throws in the high 80s to lower 90s. Schmidt is also hitting ..230 with five homers and 26 RBIs at the plate.
Jack Leggett foresees a bright future for Schmidt, and not just on the mound. Schmidt has shown the ability to play catcher along with first base and outfield. Schmidt can also hit for power, and with more consistency, could find a spot in the middle of the Tiger lineup in the future. Expect to see Schmidt in the next few years…all over the field.
Glaser Sets Clemson Single-Season Save Record
Junior righthander Nick Glaser transferred to Clemson from Edmonds CC in Washington with the hopes of making an immediate impact. He has done just that as he has an ACC-best and Clemson record 15 saves in 32 relief appearances. The Second-Team All-ACC relief pitcher has allowed 38 hits, 10 earned runs, and 28 walks along with 40 strikeouts in 40.0 innings. Six of his 28 walks have been intentional. He pitched 4.0 innings in relief in the first game of a doubleheader against #11 Wake Forest on April 15, then pitched 2.0 more innings in game two. He earned the save in game two and did not allow a run in either game. He also pitched the final 3.0 innings against Mississippi State in the Super Regional, as he earned the record-breaking save and sent Clemson to the College World Series. He exudes the typical closer personality with his slingshot-type delivery and fiery attitude.
Clemson Single-Season Save Leaders
Stone Thriving as Tiger Leadoff Hitter
Junior outfielder Casey Stone (Abbeville, SC) has cemented his role as the Tiger leadoff hitter thanks to his consistent hitting of late. He has batted in the leadoff spot 41 times this season, including in each of the last 35 games. In those 35 games, he is hitting 63-for-155 (.406). He is also 37-for-his-last-78 (.474) with 21 RBIs since he lined out to right field at #5 Georgia Tech in his first at bat on April 30 18 games ago. Stone has upped his batting average to .360, second-best on the team. He has a .490 on-base percentage when leading off an inning overall and has been an excellent “table-setter” for Jack Leggett. He even hits lefties well with his ..377 batting average against Southpaws. Stone hit his first career homer at #5 Georgia Tech on April 30. It came on his 361st career at bat. He also had the game-winning hit in the ninth inning to beat #2 Florida State on May 7. He was named the Clemson Regional MVP as well, as he hit .357 with six RBIs. Stone, who stands 5-6 and weighs 155 pounds, is a hard-nosed aggressive player in the mold of Jack Leggett himself. Stone has 11 doubles, three triples, and 24 stolen bases as well. He also has 14 sacrifice bunts this season, most in a season by a Tiger in history. He also holds the career record in that category with 25. Stone is engaged to Kimberly Stewart, a Clemson student. The wedding is set to take place in December, 2000.
Singy Hitting .390 After Starting Season 1-for-28
Junior outfielder Justin Singleton began the season 1-for-28. Then, just when he seemingly started to get his bat going, he suffered a broken finger sliding into a base against Maryland and missed nearly a month. But Singleton (Sparks, MD) has still managed to keep his hot bat of late, going 32-for-82 (.390) since the season-beginning slump. Singleton went 3-for-5 with four RBIs against Ohio on March 11 to begin his streaky hitting. He was 3-for-3 against #11 Wake Forest on April 16 in his first start since the Ohio game on March 11. He also had three hits at #1 South Carolina on April 19. He had a clutch hit, a two-run triple, coming off the bench against Illinois on May 27 to salt away the game. He was named to the All-Regional team at Clemson, as he went 4-for-6 with five runs scored and four RBIs. Singleton hit .370 as a freshman, but struggled in 1999 with a .237 average.
Senior outfielder Henri Stanley (Columbia, SC) is never for a loss of words. The sociology major has well above a 3.0 GPA. He even “tells it like it is” in his personal journal for the official Clemson athletic website (at www.clemsontigers.com) called “Stanley’s Stance.” He lets fans read about the daily happenings of a student athlete on the field, but more importantly off the field as well. Don’t be surprised to hear how good he is about everything from sleeping to spades.
On the field, the speedy DH is 57-64 in his career on stolen bases. He also has walked 143 times in his career, fourth most in Tiger history. In 16 career NCAA Tournament games, Stanley is hitting .389 with 20 runs scored, two homers, 7-9 on stolen bases, and 15 walks resulting in an outstanding .522 on-base percentage. In the 2000 Clemson Regional, he was 5-for-8 with four runs scored, 4-4 on stolen bases, and a .727 on-base percentage, as he was named to the All-Regional team. In the 2000 NCAA Tournament, he is 9-for-12 with an ..800 on-base percentage.
Baker Providing Punch as Freshman
Freshman shortstop Jeff Baker (Woodbridge, VA), who was rated as the #1 freshman in the nation in the preseason by Baseball America, is hitting .317 with a team-best 11 homers and 62 RBIs. He actually has 11 of Clemson’s 36 homers this season (31 percent). Baker also has 25 multi-hit games. He also has a respectable .923 fielding percentage for a freshman. Baker was a star on the USA Junior National Team that won it all in Taiwan in the summer of 1999. He teamed with South Carolina shortstop Drew Meyer. Baker actually drove home Meyer for the game-winning run in the championship game. Baker was the starting shortstop for the team as well. Baker was one of first 20 players invited for the USA National Team trials set to start in June.
On the Personal Side…
Corbin Named USA National Team Assistant Coach
Assistant Head Coach Tim Corbin was named one of four assistant coaches for the USA National Team on February 1. The team, headed by Southern California Head Coach Mike Gillespie, will play on the US WEST Red, White, and Blue Summer Tour in 2000.
Corbin, Clemson’s recruiting coordinator, is in his seventh season as Jack Leggett’s top assistant. Corbin’s 1999 recruiting class was ranked #1 in the nation by Baseball America and he is a major reason Clemson has won 288 games (fifth most in the country) during his six seasons at Clemson.
Corbin, 38 and a 1984 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan, joins Southern California pitching coach John Savage, Louisville Head Coach Lelo Prado, and Loyola Marymount Head Coach Frank Cruz on the USA National Team coaching staff.
Clemson’s 338 Wins Since 1994 Fifth In The Nation
The barometer of a great season in college baseball is getting to Omaha and winning 50 games. Since Jack Leggett took over as Clemson’s head coach in ’94, the Tigers have won 338 games for over a 48-win average. Leggett has led Clemson to four 50-win seasons and three appearances in the College World Series in seven seasons. Included in that total is 86 wins over top-25 teams and a 41-16 (.719) record against SEC teams.
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